News & Analysis

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    HuffPost plans to drop AP stories, relaunch site in 2015

    ‘”At the end of our contract in 2015, we will be ending our relationship with AP and building our own news service in-house,” Huffington Post co-founder and editor in chief Arianna Huffington told staff on Monday in a year-end memo. “At the same time we will be doubling down on original reporting and bringing together a new investigative team.”‘ – Capital New York
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    Why did Boeing choose to work with BlackBerry on a secure smartphone?

    Boeing has tapped BlackBerry to help develop a smartphone meant for workers in the defense and security industries. The companies didn’t reveal what part of the phone, which is called the Boeing Black, would be developed by the beleaguered manufacturer. It’s an interesting choice. BlackBerry has long been lauded for its security features — there was a time when anyone working in a sensitive field had a BlackBerry device nestled in their belt clip. But is it still secure enough…
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    Google finishes self-driving car prototype

    Google has finished developing the prototype of its first custom-built, self-driving car. The company plans to use the prototype outside its test track in California next year. It’s unclear when consumers will be allowed, either by Google or by state legislators, to buy a self-driving vehicle for themselves. [Source: Google]
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    Season of giving: LA Makerspace teams up with LA Public Libraries, raises funds to boost STEAM education

    Los Angeles has more STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) jobs – nearly 800,000 – than any other city in the nation. But the region’s schools are failing badly at preparing students for these opportunities. An abysmal 10 percent of LAUSD 8th graders test proficient in science and 18 percent proficient in math. It’s an ugly situation, but one that could be addressed, at least in part, with a few relatively simple fixes. The Los Angeles Makerspace
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    Apple joins Tumblr

    Just in case you ever wondered if social networks were actually just vehicles for brands to disseminate their bullshit through vapid clickbait designed to make you think of them instead of interacting with friends: Apple has created a Tumblr account for iTunes. It’s said to have made an Instagram account for the music service, too. [Source: TechCrunch]
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    Snapchat cracks down on third-party apps to bolster user security

    Snapchat has disappeared from Windows Phone. The ephemeral messaging service doesn’t offer an official app on the moribund platform, and Snapchat has reportedly asked Microsoft to remove third-party applications from the Windows Phone Store. That’s sure to frustrate consumers who relied on those applications to access Snapchat, but it’s also a victory of sorts, because using those unofficial apps undermines the peace of mind afforded by the supposedly-temporary nature of items sent via the service. Snapchat warned…
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    NY financial regulator: Our payments infrastructure is “disco-era” tech and we should mandate improvements

    What’s the quickest way to enter the good graces of a payments entrepreneur? Tell them that the legacy financial infrastructure, things like ACH (automated clearing house) transfers and international remittance, is awful technology that needs to be trashed like yesterday’s garbage. That’s basically the exact message the industry got last week from New York’s top payments regulator, New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky. In a keynote on the changes to his department’s proposed BitLicense digital…
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    SigFig user data reveals iOS-using investors outperform Android, among other demographic insights

    What if I told you that iOS users are crushing their Android-wielding brethren in the stock market? How about that the top performing state for retail investors is Washington? Or that there’s a simple behavior that can cause everyday investors average performance to drop by 93 percent? These are a few of the takeaways from the latest SigFig year-end report. SigFig is a startup automated portfolio management platform that promises its users “set it and forget it” investment simplicity – that and up to…
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    Oracle acquires Datalogix for undisclosed sum

    Oracle has acquired Datalogix, a “data-as-a-service” broker, for an undisclosed sum. Datalogix connects online advertisements to offline purchases for many large companies, and will now contribute to the Oracle Data Cloud. [Source: Oracle]
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    Here we go again: Staples confirms 119 of its stores suffered a payments data breach

    Staples revealed on Friday that more than 1.1 million credit cards may have been stolen after 115 of its retail stores suffered a data breach between August and September. Other stores were targeted in July; four in Manhattan may have been affected as early as April. The credit card information is thought to have been stolen via malware installed on the retailer’s point-of-sale systems. Staples said it has “taken steps to enhance the security of its point-of-sale systems, including…
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    Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies

    Frozen: An exceptional woman foolishly allows her mooching family members to keep her from ruling a kingdom of ice in perfect solitude. She is forced to use her unique powers to provide free entertainment for peasants, without compensation. I liked the snowman, when he sang. —One star.” - The New Yorker
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    So it begins? Operator of large Tor exit node cluster reports he has “lost control” of his servers

    Earlier this week, we reported on an apparent threat by an unnamed agency to disable the Tor anonymity network. According to founder Roger Dingledine: The Tor Project has learned that there may be an attempt to incapacitate our network in the next few days through the seizure of specialized servers in the network called directory authorities. The wording of Dingledine’s warning causes some (including us) to speculate that the anticipated attack might be coming from law enforcement agencies either…
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    Attention Wantpreneurs: Here’s the ONE thing you are missing (And it’s not a fundraising round)

    Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Greg Muender, co-founder of Whttl. The post went through PandoDaily’s usual editorial process and Mr Muender was paid for his work.  In the last five years, entrepreneurship has seen an unprecedented surge in popularity. Where it was once thought of as a profession for just a small (crazy) subset of the population, people are leaving traditional jobs in droves to pursue their own story. Tim & I launched Whttl in October to be the…
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    Rejoice! The War Nerd Dispatches is now available as an eBook and (100 copies only!) paperback

    Late last year, when NSFWCORP was still trying to stay alive as an independent magazine, we launched a crowdfunding campaign to support our journalism. One of the award levels involved us putting together a collection of columns by The War Nerd, our incomparable conflict correspondent. Of course, since then, a lot has changed. NSFWCORP is now a proud part of Pando, and you can find the War Nerd’s latest writing right here. But a promise is a promise: Supporters of…

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    Black Mirror’s new “Christmas Special” takes on robot slaves, smart homes, and blocking IRL

    Every generation needs its Black Mirror. In 1932, Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World reflected the ugliest sides of consumerism, commoditization, and complacency. In 1949, George Orwell published 1984, which warned against how governments used surveillance, propaganda, and fear to control societies. And in 1984, William Gibson’s Neuromancer forecasted the terrifying confluence of big data, the connected self, and cybercrime, years before those terms even existed. Today, with so many of Huxley’s, Orwell’s, and Gibson’s predictions taking shape, and technological innovation affecting our routines and psyches faster than our…
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The Week in Review